How to Avoid Overwhelm When Launching Your Online Teaching Business
Many of us choose the entrepreneurial path because we want more flexibility. Flexibility to teach using our own methods, flexibility to charge what we want for classes and coaching, flexibility to make our own schedules. But all too often, the tradeoff for that flexibility is stress. Gobs of it. We’re constantly making tough calls, wrestling with big decisions, and handling everything from paying bills to writing newsletters. For online wellness entrepreneurs, avoiding overwhelm can seem utterly impossible.
But it’s not. When we’re strategic about decision-making, priorities, and creating balance, we can ensure our stress levels never hit the roof. The trick is to start early.
Why it’s essential to consider overwhelm during launch
If you’re knee-deep in planning a meticulous online launch for your wellness business, it can be tempting to dive deep and worry about balance later. Don’t. Really, don’t! If you fail to consider stress-management from the outset, you’ll make it far more difficult to manage in the long run. By practicing overwhelm-avoidance from launch day forward, you:
Teach yourself to value harmony in your working life
Train your clients and customers to have reasonable expectations
Ensure your personal relationships are protected and prioritized
Give your business a better shot at success by sidestepping burnout
Even if you’re long past launch, you can still use the techniques that follow to create equilibrium! We Namastreamers just want to ensure that our community members avoid burnout at all costs, and managing overwhelm from the get-go can help. With that in mind, let’s dig into some tactics.
Mindset shifts for avoiding overwhelm
Before you even consider delegating tasks or shifting schedules, see if adjusting your mentality toward overwhelm might help.
Be attuned to stress and stressors: Far too often, we don’t realize we’re overwhelmed until we’re SO overwhelmed that we can’t see straight. If you can recognize the warning signs earlier, you can keep them in check. For starters, listen to your body. If you’re experiencing headaches or neck aches, sleeping terribly, or feeling easily fatigued, take a step back. Then consider your schedule; if looking at your tasks for the week makes you want to cry or hyperventilate, don’t ignore that sign. The first step in reducing stress is knowing how it shows up in your working life.
Be open to accepting help: When you’re constructing your launch, you may want to tackle the lion’s share of tasks yourself. However, when you consider how you’ll handle the spread of work long-term, open your mind to the notion of delegation. Just knowing that you can solicit and accept support when you need it, will help fend off future worry.
Be OK with a running to-do list: Yes, you’ll need to tick off the tools and steps necessary for a successful online launch until that list is complete. But the to-do lists that will follow? Prepare yourself to let them roll over endlessly. Running a yoga business or health coaching empire means always having a constant queue of tasks waiting to be done, and that is 100% OK! If you make a list on Monday and fail to complete everything on it by 5 p.m. Friday, that makes you a completely normal entrepreneur. If you accept that an empty inbox and cleared calendar will be rarities, coping with that rolling task list will be far easier.
Organizational tips for avoiding overwhelm
How you organize your space, time, and priorities will impact your stress level. Simple but effective, these techniques can help keep you feeling focused and relaxed.
Clear your desk, tidy your space: Does this sound like an expert-approved excuse to procrastinate? That’s not quite what we’re going for … but cleaning your space might be the world’s most beneficial way to waste time! Studies have proven that clutter impacts our clarity and state-of-mind. If you tend to feel overwhelmed working at a messy desk or in a disorganized space, set aside some time once or twice per week to tidy up.
Create task habits: As an entrepreneur, it’s possible you’ll never live through two identical days. This can be challenging in the best ways, but also a little disorienting and draining. Cultivating a set of warm-up tasks can create a sense of continuity and daily achievement. You could spend the first half-hour of your morning responding to emails and pressing requests, another half hour on social media, and another going over financials. End-of-day task habits could include double-checking your schedule for the following day, preparing materials for any client interactions, and tidying your space. Habits like these create structure, and structure fights stress.
Do, delegate, or ditch: When your day (or week, or month) is so jam-packed you’re not sure when you’ll be able to squeeze in a bathroom break, prioritize mercilessly. If a task is critical and can only be handled by you, carve out time and make it happen. If a business partner or hired hand can take over, farm it out. If it’d be nice to tackle but won’t impact the bottom line or overall business growth, let it go. Look at every project and appointment on your calendar, and decide to do, delegate, or ditch it.
Activities to help diminish overwhelm
Sometimes kicking stress in the butt means changing how you act or react. These behavioral shifts can make a huge difference.
Cull your offerings: Which of your classes or products are you most excited about? Which ones energize and invigorate you? Which ones are resonating with customers, bringing in consistent signups, and generating steady revenue? And which ones do you dread or resent? Which ones simply aren’t performing? Be brutally honest, simplify your menu, and watch your overwhelm shrink to nothing. (This one may be most helpful if your business is past launch phase, but even new businesses often have built-in deadweight. Think hard about which offerings are absolutely essential and dump the rest.)
Take time off: What’s that? You think going camping for a long weekend will just mean coming back to double the work? Maybe so, but you’ll be refreshed, rejuvenated, and totally ready to tackle it. Work through, and you’ll still be exhausted and drained. If you’re teetering on the brink of burnout, make yourself step back and get some rest. Seriously.
Set business hours: On a related note, don’t let work encroach on non-work time. Occasionally, you’ll have to pull a 12-hour day, and that’s fine. But the vast majority of your work should take place during business hours only. Now, you may want those hours to be from noon until 8 p.m., and running your own wellness business makes that feasible! But that means no checking email or answering calls until the clock strikes 12 p.m., or after it clicks over to 8:01 p.m. Just like task habits, boundaries create structure, which is an antidote to overwhelm.
Finally, remember that you’re not alone! It’s easy to forget that other entrepreneurs have had similar experiences, and that many are struggling right alongside you. Reach out to existing communities on social media, build your own, or tap into our free Soulful MBA Facebook community! The act of talking about your overwhelm can instantly help relieve it. By sharing your story, you may find the support and encouragement you desperately need.
Overwhelm is normal, but it should ebb and flow. If you are in a constant state of business-panic, it’s time for a change. Think about lacing up your shoes for a run, rolling out your yoga mat for a home practice, or chopping vegetables for cooking up a healthy soup.